WORLD WETLANDS DAY CELEBRATED
World Wetlands Day is always celebrated on February 2nd because that was when an International convention took place in 1971 to discuss saving and protecting wetlands habitat all around the world. The convention took place in the city of Ramsar in Iran where world wide wetlands were prescribed as protected in a convention document, signed by the Governments that were present including Australia
Our Save Westernport group celebrated World Wetlands Day in big way over a 2 day period as follows:
On Friday 1st February 2019, we hired the “Kasey Lee” vessel from Wildlife Coast Cruises, Phillip Island to take us on a Sunset Tour of our beautiful Westernport Bay. The “Kasey Lee” was capable of carrying up to 90 persons and by the time we spread the message amongst our supporters and volunteers all tickets sold in just 3 days. (Thanks to the Wildlife Coast Cruises for coming to Stony Point at no charge).
The hour and half cruise was absolutely perfect, heaps of birdlife was identified by our resident expert Chris who also gave us a historic run down of French Island and the threat to both by AGL’s floating gas factory proposal.
Wildlife Coast Cruises excelled themselves with the hot and cold canapes and the bar was open for drinks. The perfect complement to a magnificent sunset.
Because the Sunset Cruise was so popular and successful the Save Westernport Steering Committee plan to run another one in the near future, if you are interested email our President Louise Page at email@example.com.
The next day was Saturday 2nd February – World Wetlands Day. To mark the occasion and to show the “makers and shakers” what a natural treasure we have in Westernport Bay and how fragile the Ecosystem of that natural treasure is, Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor David Gill invited 40 dignitaries out on a 4hr boat cruise, once again around the Bay. This time it commenced at 2pm and we saw the Bay at the change of the low tide which exposed all the banks which attracted lots of birdlife.
The dignitaries consisted of State Politicians, Councillors from Shires around the Bay, Representatives from Esso, Bluescope, Boat Marinas etc, etc. Two Reps from Save Westernport group were also invited.
On board were experts on birdlife, marine life, seagrasses, mangroves and French Island who explained what a marvellous Eco system we had in the Bay and surrounding areas. SWP reps were also able to get the message over that the AGL gas import proposal was a real threat to the fragile ecosystem that we were looking at and that AGL was an accident prone company with 17 blunders in 15 years costing them $7 million in fines.
SWP Takes Part in Film Festival at Rosebud
On Saturday Feb 2nd, a group of SWP volunteers headed for the Village Green in Rosebud where the Peninsula Film Festival was held. The Festival was widely advertised as being sponsored by AGL . We set up out the front of the festival with our great trailer banners, painted by our own Kate and Candy depicting AGL’s grab for Westernport Bay and the Sandpiper Curlew migratory bird with Save Westernport written on both banners. Reception was patchy as a lot of people on the Port Phillip Bay did not know was going on at Westernport.
Hundreds of Save Westernport information leaflets were handed out and we did our best to educate as many people as possible. Quite a few signatures were gathered for our petition.
AGL’s “Musiqua” at Hastings Foreshore
As another attempt by AGL to influence our community to get their support for their crazy Crib Point FSRU project , AGL sponsored the “Musiqua” music festival on the foreshore at Hastings on Sunday 3rd February with a huge line-up of top musical entertainers. We once again set-up our great trailer banners right out the front of the festival in full view of all those that entered. We also had our “Save Westernport” and “No AGL Gas” banners alongside the walk way to the entrance to the venue as we handed out leaflets explaining what AGL were up to and gathered more signatures for our petition.
Only a few people attended the AGL sponsored Music Festival (150 at the most) and we put that down to the hot weather and our solid “No AGL Gas” campaign and to the front page article that appeared in the 30th January 2019 Western Port News under the heading “AGL under fire for sponsorships”. Our Assistant Secretary Julia accused AGL of attempting to soften up the community in an endeavour to curb the growing opposition to their plan to import and process LNG in the internationally protected wetlands of Westernport Bay. That is just a part of what Julia and Candy said in that front page article and it was a great article and well worth a read. It certainly gave people something to think about.